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Have your say - Peaks Campus

Updated: 09.05.23

Have your say - Peaks Campus

Following an internal review, The Sheffield College has taken the decision that from September 2023, the college will no longer offer courses at its Peaks Campus.

Subject to a stakeholder consultation process, it is anticipated that all of the courses currently offered at Peaks will continue and will mostly relocate to City Campus, which has good public transport links.  This document outlines the rationale for that decision and invites you to provide your feedback and views.

We are currently consulting with key stakeholders, including staff, students, parents and carers, civic and business leaders and community organisations to seek their views on the impact of the planned changes for Peaks Campus and their implementation.

We welcome your views and look forward to hearing from you.

About The Sheffield College

The Sheffield College is a General Further Education (GFE) college in the South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority, providing high quality academic, technical and vocational training to enhance qualifications, skills and employability across the region. Adopting a 'one college approach', we operate from a number of campuses across the city.

Our mission is transforming lives through learning. We provide academic, technical and professional qualifications, from entry through to degree level, to around 14,000 young people and adults a year and we are Ofsted graded ‘good’. During their time with us, our students receive transformational skills and support to gain the qualifications they need to go further in their careers.

We are the largest apprenticeship provider in the city and region and we work with approximately 2,700 employers who are involved in apprenticeships or provide work-related activity and industry placements. Our training solutions enable employers to address skills gaps, accelerate business performance and boost competitiveness and growth.

Our strong and effective engagement with employers and other relevant stakeholders is extensive and effective and ensures we meet local, regional and national skills needs. As the only GFE college in Sheffield and the largest GFE in South Yorkshire, we are very mindful of our obligations and responsibilities to the communities we serve and we strive to ensure that we develop and deliver learning programmes to enable people to gain the knowledge and skills required by employers and society, both now and in the future.

We are proud to say that our 'students first' ethos underpins everything we do and is the driving force behind The Sheffield College.

To ensure the college maintains high quality and sustainable education and training for our students, future students, local communities and employers, we regularly review our course offer, facilities and estate. As part of this review, it is our intention to no longer provide teaching and learning at our Peaks Campus from September 2023 onwards.

About Peaks Campus

Peaks Campus, Waterthorpe Greenway, is based in a quiet suburban setting in the south east of Sheffield. The land was purchased, and the building built in 1999; it was subsequently extended in 2005.

Peaks Campus is currently used by around 300 students who are studying on a small number of programmes including a high needs provision, games design, health and social care, science, public services, apprenticeships and the Prince’s Trust programme.

Although it has a reputation as a community campus, around 85% of college students from the local area travel to our other sites to study, particularly City Campus.  The vast majority of courses currently at Peaks are already available at our other campuses.

Peaks Campus includes a loft canteen and social area and climbing wall but lacks usable outdoor space.  The building incorporates some sustainable features such as roof-mounted solar panels, and a biomass-fuelled heating system. Students and staff based at Peaks also access facilities at City Campus which is accessible via a direct tram.

Rationale for moving teaching and learning from Peaks Campus from September 2023

The college needs to ensure that all of its estate is sustainable and has a long-term future to enhance the student experience and meet future skills needs.

Peaks Campus is significantly underutilised which is costly to maintain and run. For example, in 2014/15 there were 776 students studying at Peaks. By 2019/20 this had dropped by more than half to 380.  Currently, there are just over 300 students studying at Peaks.

We have also seen a reduction in the range of types of curriculum based at Peaks, due to an emerging trend of the majority of students opting to do the same courses but at our City Campus. As a consequence, we are concerned that the holistic student experience is being compromised when compared to the student experience at our larger campuses.

Compounded by a tough financial climate for the further education sector nationally, including a reduction in funding in real terms and surging energy costs, it is becoming less sustainable to continue to provide teaching and learning at Peaks Campus. The campus is highly under-utilised and not efficient to maintain.

The college is committed to working with partners organisations in the city on finding a long-term sustainable solution for use of the site.

Support for current and prospective students

We are committed to ensuring that our students are at the heart of everything we do and every decision we make. It is our intention that the majority of teaching activity will relocate to our City Campus and we will include a full package of support for both current students based at Peaks Campus and applicants for September 2023 start, including:

  • Support with travel costs and journey planning
  • Bespoke transport arrangements where required
  • Individual Information, Advice and Guidance (IAG) support to ensure students are making the right decision for them and their future. For example, we are aware that moving to a large campus such as City will be a very different environment for some students, and will support them to make the best choice for them

Support for affected staff

The college has begun a formal consultation process with the trade unions and staff who are affected by our plans for stopping teaching and learning at our Peaks Campus.

The college is consulting with 13 staff permanently based at Peaks Campus who are most affected by the plans, and approximately a further 70 staff who work regularly at Peaks Campus. The college is committed to minimising any potential redundancies and wherever possible staff will be given the option to relocate from Peaks Campus.

The formal consultation process with Peaks Campus staff started on Tuesday 9th May 2023.

Have your say

Supporting our students, staff and local communities remains our number one priority.

As someone with an interest in The Sheffield College and the wider city region, we welcome your views and comments on the decision to no longer offer teaching and learning at Peaks Campus from September 2023.

We would also welcome any feedback you may have on how we can minimise the impact on those affected.

Please have your say by emailing your views and comments to haveyoursay@sheffcol.ac.uk by Thursday 1st June 2023.

You can also find some frequently asked questions by clicking here.

Thank you for your time.

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